Iraqi Army Assumes Control Of Bayji National Ammunition Depot
Soldiers from the Iraqi Army formally took control of the Bayji National Ammunition Depot from Coalition forces marked by a ceremony recently. US Army Brigadier General Steven Salazar turned over the golden key signifying control of the ammunition depot to the Iraqi Army September 29th to mark the event.
The day was another historical milestone toward eventual Iraqi control and command of their own country. Already 11 of the 18 Iraqi provinces have been given back to full Iraqi Control with others slowly being turned over each month. The responsibility of key facilities such as the Bayji Ammo Depot are crucial to the gradual and controlled handing back of their national resources and facilities.
The depot is a centerpiece of national strategic and defense importance to the Iraqi Army. It is the largest remaining source of ammunition with more than 250 million rounds of ammunition that can be used to defend the Iraqi nation against those that would threaten it.
The ceremony marked the continued cooperative efforts by the coalition and Iraqi forces to ease the facilities and different command and control structures gradually back into Iraqi control.
The overall process is also one that is building confidence with the Iraqi individual soldier. The ammunition depot will soon have billeting and quarters for 656 personnel to work at the depot.